Learning lessons the hard way

Saturday was my first organized race, a 5K right in my neighborhood. I finished in 31:40, which was not dead last. I was there to complete, not compete, anyway. Here’s what I learned that day:

  • I’m not a fast runner, and I don’t need to start at the front of the pack. I made the mistake of pacing myself with the leaders at about 7:20/mile and burned myself out early. Next time, I’ll start at the back of the pack and move up slowly.
  • Running on grass sucks. A portion of the run was on grass, and the extra traction just meant more effort on my part to keep going.
  • My Nike+ sensor was off significantly. It read 3.42 miles at the end of the race. I calibrated it to the actual 3.11 mile distance, but this means that my recent run distances and paces have been off. I need to do another calibration run/walk.
  • Grabbing a cup of water on the run takes practice, and actually drinking it while running takes even more. The cup I grabbed was full of hot water, which I almost choked on. I didn’t bother with water at the second station, and I shouldn’t have bothered at the first; I don’t carry water or stop for it on my three mile runs, and this shouldn’t have been different.

I ended up taking a couple of short walking breaks due to my fast pace at the start and the terrain, but I finished it running. Overall, I had a good time at the race and I’m looking forward to my next organized event, which as of now is the SRP Training Kick-Off Party for the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘N Roll Arizona Half-Marathon.

Today was W5D2 of the One Hour Runner, so I did a 32 minute run. I’m not running as fast as I was a couple of weeks ago. I’ve slowed down to just over 10:00/mile. On my next short run, which will be Friday, I need to focus on keeping my pace between 9:00 and 9:30.  Today, though, my right knee was bothering me again. At about 25:00, it felt like it went out from under me. I had to to rest it for a couple of minutes, but I resumed the workout and ran the remaining seven minutes, finishing 3.17 miles. This means I need to pay attention to my stride, especially on the right side. Hopefully, I’ll have better numbers to report on Wednesday, when I do my 38 minute run.

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